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AP: Video shows Lyoya shot in back of head by officer

A TV display shows video evidence of a Grand Rapids police officer struggling with and shooting Patrick Lyoya at Grand Rapids City Hall on Wednesday, April 13, 2022. Lyoya, 26, was shot and killed about 8:10 a.m., on April 4, after what police said was a traffic stop. (Grand Rapids Police Department)

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AP journalists Ed White, Anna Nichols, Corey Williams, Mike Householder, David Eggert, Amy Forliti, Aaron Morrison and colleagues around the country teamed up to provide multiformat coverage of the release by Grand Rapids, Michigan, police of video showing the April 4 shooting death of motorist Patrick Lyoya. Video showed Lyoya, a Black man, facing the ground when he was fatally shot in the back of the head by a police officer after a traffic stop, a brief foot chase and struggle over a stun gun.

White,Nichols,Williams,Eggert, Householder and John Flesher all watched the video release in real time to analyze and describe the footage. Atlanta-based Alex Sanz zoomed in on the video and slowed it down to confirm AP was accurately representing the shooting, and video journalist Householder carefully and deliberately edited the footage to leave out particularly graphic aspects. Central desk editor Andrea Thomas filed the the alert and story writethrus.

Early the next day Nichols visited the apartment of Lyoya’s father to put AP ahead on an afternoon news conference with the family and lawyer Ben Crump; Nichols also made a photo of the father holding a large portrait of his son. Breaking coverage of the family news conference was accompanied by White’s explainer looking at the factors prosecutors could consider in bringing any charges against the officer.

Lyoya combo
At left, a monitor at Grand Rapids City Hall, April 13, 2022., shows Patrick Lyoya, 26, in video evidence of an April 4 traffic stop in which Lyoya was fatally shot by a Grand Rapids, Mich., police officer. At right, civil rights attorney Ben Crump, right, and an interpreter point to video evidence during in a news conference at a Grand Rapids, Mich., church on Thursday, April 14, 2022. Crump is representing the family of Patrick Lyoya, who was shot and killed by a Grand Rapids police officer on April 4. – Grand Rapids Police Department, left; Cory Morse / The Grand Rapids Press via AP

Forliti’s distinctive story the following day examined a gap in body camera video — the officer’s video inexplicably stopped 42 seconds before the shooting. That story was played prominently by PBS and broke into AP’s Top 10 for the week on AP News. Race and ethnicity reporters Corey Williams and Aaron Morrison then combined on a story edited by Amy Shafer that showed how and why resisting arrest for minor traffic stops has been deadly for Black men and women.

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